St. Petersburg’s Flying Boat Brewing Co. welcomed a new head brewer in June, bringing Taylor Corona — who has experience at breweries in California, South Carolina and Georgia — into the mix at the popular neighborhood brewery.
Her first beer hit the taps last week: a hop-forward golden ale named after St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.
A golden ale seems quite an inconspicuous way to ease into the position, but Grand Central Golden Ale is a little less than straightforward. Whereas a typical golden ale is mild, malt-focused and simple by design, Grand Central is quite lively, with a soft grainy sweetness on the nose punctuated with citrus notes that you might expect from a pale ale or IPA.
The hop character follows suit, taking center stage due to the use of two bold hop varieties: Sorachi Ace and Lemondrop. Sorachi Ace is a polarizing hop, presenting sharp citrus notes along with a distinct herbal, dill-like character. Lemondrop’s fresh lemon and melon notes are a perfect companion, giving the beer a bright, summery quality.
A hoppy golden ale it is, then. And while the beer’s bitterness is quite pronounced relative to an average golden ale, it never feels overpowering. In fact, it’s downright refreshing, as one would hope for when ordering this style. It won’t please everyone, but to the Sorachi Ace fanatics out there — a real thing, rest assured — this beer is a must-try.
See for yourself at Flying Boat’s tasting room, where you’ll find Grand Central Golden Ale on draft and available for growler fills.
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